The following achievements were recorded by the AESD during the period under review.
1.0 Establishment of Agricultural Mechanization Services Centres (AMSEC)
Under the programme facilitating farmers’ access to mechanized services, 87 out of 170 AMSEC centres have been established nationwide. These centres have been equipped initially with five agricultural tractors and matching implements and some maize shellers. During quarterly monitoring visits conducted to some centres it was noted that some pro active AMSECs have privately sourced for additional machinery to service farmers along the value chain. Examples noted were Faby C., Mikleb Co. etc who have sourced for planters, shellers etc
2.0 Procurement of Agricultural Machinery/Equipment under Brazilian Government Facility
The Directorate has facilitated the process for the supply of US$ 95.0 million worth of agricultural machinery/equipment under Brazilian Government facility. These machinery/equipment are to be supplied in three tranches with the 1st tranche of US$35.0 million expected in the country by commencement of the end of the 2nd
The machinery/equipment expected include tractors and implements for land preparation, planters, seed drills and boom sprayers for crop management, combine harvesters for harvesting, rice threshers and shellers for primary processing as well as mobile workshops for servicing and repairs of machinery on the field. These machinery are expected to augment AMSEC facilities and support individual farmers.
3.0 Japanese Government Assistance Progamme (2KR – 2009)
The Directorate with support from the Japanese Grant Assistance Programme (2KR-2009) has taken delivery of agricultural machinery/equipment worth US$5.1 million. The machinery and equipment received and assembled include:
- 125 – agricultural tractors and accessories
- 40 – irrigation pumps and accessories
- 2 – combine harvesters
- 35 – reapers
- 35 – threshers and 1
- 10 – rice mills
The machinery/equipment are being distributed to beneficiaries within six project regions (NR, UER, UWR, AR, GAR and VR).
4.0 Mobilization and Deployment of Combine Harvesters to Rice/Maize Production Areas
As part of the Directorates programme of improving the timely harvesting of rice and reducing the drudgery associated with rice harvesting, 165 combine harvesters (rice and maize) have been received, assembled and deployed to rice and maize fields across the country. This activity has reduced harvesting losses which normally occur as result of manual harvesting and insurgence of bushfire. This activity is ongoing. The Directorate facilitates the routine maintenance and repair of these harvesters.
5.0 Promotion of Low Capacity and Intermediate Technology along the Value Chain
To ensure that farmers with fragile soils have access to appropriate agricultural machinery, the Directorate facilitated the introduction and promotion of vari mini machinery/equipment systems to farmer groups and individual farmers in the Upper East Region. The vari mini systems are made up of land preparation machinery (tillers), crop management machinery (irrigation pumps) and primary processing machinery. The promotion of this technology is ongoing.
6.0 Training of farm machinery/equipment operators
To prevent premature breakdown of agricultural machinery, reduce machinery/equipment downtime and ensure effective utilization of agricultural machinery/equipment, the Directorate during the period under review has organized several trainings for machinery operators and beneficiaries, mechanics, technicians and engineers on proper handling, repair and maintenance of agricultural machinery. So far over 200 beneficiaries have been trained and equipped with requisite skills in the handling of agricultural machinery.
7.0 Provision of Mechanized Borehole Services for all year Agriculture
Under the Ministry’s ground water development programme aimed at harvesting groundwater for agricultural purposes, the Directorate has deployed 20 drilling rigs to provide mechanized borehole services for crop and livestock production. During the period under review over 1000 boreholes have been drilled and mechanized for farmers and agro processors.
Other technologies (reverse osmosis principle) are being explored to treat low quality water as well as sourcing for cheaper alternative means of energy for lifting water.
8.0 Promotion of Agro Processing Equipment and Storage Facilities
To minimize post harvest losses during storage and to hold emergency stocks, the Directorate supported the National Food Buffer Stock Company with the installation of grainpro cocoons. The activity was made up of site assessment and installation of the grainpro cocoons. In total 3,220 MT capacities of 50MT and 20MT units have been distributed to Central and Northern Regions. 60.35 MT of maize has been stocked in Ejura, Sunyani, Wenchi, Winneba and Cape Coast as well as 1,026MT of maize stocked at Tamale.
During the process of stocking, 50 beneficiaries including AEAs and farmers were trained on grainpro cocoon installation and maintenance.
The Directorate also facilitated the installation of 14 mechanical dryers and solar dryers nationwide to improve quality of stocks for storage and reduce post harvest losses of grains and vegetables.
9.0 MOFA Motorcycle Policy
To support the effective extension service delivery especially in the provision of agricultural technologies, monitoring and evaluation, the Directorate facilitated the development of a motorcycle policy to provide a general framework of the planned purchase and deployment of motorcycles to field officers and immediate field supervisors. The policy is intended to deliver effective and efficient services to clients, rationalize the use, management and disposal of the motorcycles in the Ministry.